Painting Prehistoric Beasts

Jason Poole, the Academy’s Dinosaur Hall coordinator and a paleoartist, will be drawing a full-size illustration in chalk of Hadrosaurus foulkii throughout the day on Sunday Nov. 1, to kick off the opening of Drawn to Dinosaurs. Come meet him!

By Frank Otto

To prepare fossils, you have to have a sure hand.

Between knives, fine dental tools and even engraving equipment, removing a fossil from the surrounding rock and hardened sediment is a delicate process.

The same can be said for art.

Jason Poole works as the Dinosaur Hall coordinator at the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel. He’s helped remove dinosaur fossils from their rocky encasements for more than two decades.

But he’s been drawing and painting the prehistoric beasts for even longer.

“I have drawn dinosaurs since I was learning to draw from comic books as a kid,” Poole said, adding, “There were a lot of dinosaurs in Marvel comics in the ‘80s.”

Since 2012, Poole has taken his art to a blog, simply titled “Jason C. Poole Paleontology Artist.”

Poole has been a part of some huge — literally — discoveries in recent years as a crew manager of paleontology teams out on digs. He teamed with former Drexel assistant professor Ken Lacovera, PhD, to unearth huge finds like Dreadnoughtus schrani in Argentina and Paralititan in Egypt.

Being able to not only help discover new species of dinosaurs, but also incorporate it into his creative work, is a dream come true.

“Art and dinosaurs were always interests, and it makes me exceedingly happy to be able to focus on both as an adult,” Poole said. “Being an artist and visual thinker has helped quite a bit in my museum work, as well as field work.”

Check out some of Poole’s recent paleontological art below.

"Flight with the Clouds"
“Flight with the Clouds”
"Watering Hole"
“Watering Hole”
"Late Cretaceous of the American West"
“Late Cretaceous of the American West”

This article was originally published in Drexel University’s DrexelNow.

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